University of Missouri - Saint Louis

The Graduate School


An oral examination in defense of the dissertation for the degree

Doctor of Philosophy in Education

Jessica Z. Taylor
M.A. in Professional Counseling, May, 2008, McKendree University
B.S. in Psychology, May, 2006, Georgia College & State University

Counseling Preferences and Health-Related Quality of Life of Young Adult Cancer Survivors



This study examined counseling preferences and health-related quality of life of young adult cancer survivors. Three hundred and twenty young adult cancer survivors completed an online survey that assessed their ratings of perceived social support (Sherbourne & Stewart, 1991); meaning in life (Steger, Frazier, Oishi, & Kaler, 2006); physical, social, emotional, and functional health-related quality of life (Cella et al., 1993); spiritual health-related quality of life (Brady, Peterman, Gitchett, Mo, & Cella, 1999); counseling topic preferences for individual, group and family counseling; and counseling modality preferences.
Results indicated that young adult cancer survivors rated individual counseling as their primary choice of counseling modality, followed by group counseling, and lastly family counseling. Participants rated individual and group counseling as having an equal number of counseling topics (n = 25) that would be helpful to discuss in those counseling modalities. Participants rated fewer topics (n = 12) as helpful to discuss in family counseling. Findings also demonstrated that perceived social support and presence of meaning in life are significant positive predictors of the five domains of health-related quality of life assessed in this study. Higher levels of socioeconomic status and completion of medical treatment were also frequent positive predictors of health-related quality of life. One unexpected finding was that relationship status designated as “single” was frequently a predictor of higher reported levels of health-related quality of life. Implications for counselors and suggestions for future research are discussed.


Date: October 29, 2013

Time: 2:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Place: TLC Conference Room 1


Defense of Dissertation Committee


R. Rocco Cottone, Ph.D. (Advisor)

Susan Kashubeck-West, Ph.D.


Brian Hutchison, Ph.D.

Margaret Barton-Burke, Ph.D.